old school PISherlock Holmes is a fictional character that is loved by detective story enthusiasts all over the world. Mr. Holmes has had a variety of clients, and on occasion, has worked with the police. Private investigators in real life also offer a variety of services and work with many people, but when compared to Sherlock Holmes, there are more differences than similarities between our work and that of the great detective Holmes.

We do not solve cases

Sherlock Holmes was known for his great deductive thinking and the ability to reach conclusions based upon the smallest observations. We, on the other hand, are usually not trying to solve crimes. In many instances, there is no crime to solve. What a private investigator does is to gather information for a client. A missing person needs to be located, or a married person wants to know if their spouse is cheating on them. Perhaps an employer wants to know if his employee’s workers’ compensation claim is legitimate. Sometimes an attorney has difficulty delivering a summons. In general, we locate people and sometimes observe their behavior.

There is seldom a confrontation

With Sherlock Holmes, there was occasionally an act of violence. He was known to carry weapons, including a gun. A private investigator, when operating in the field, is working to gather information in the most discreet fashion possible. Often, this means video surveillance from a safe distance.

Some of the work is done with computers

The modern private investigator has access to databases that the average person does not. Searching through data to find the information a client is looking for is a common task in a typical day for a private investigator. We can find people who are missing to our clients, simply by doing searches in the right databases.

We have a wide range of clientele

Although many of our clients are individuals, we also have a large number of businesses and law firms that utilize our expertise. Businesses will often want background checks on prospective employees. Law firms will utilize our expertise in locating people needed as witnesses or those who are the target of a lawsuit. Insurance companies will use our expertise in surveillance to catch those engaged in fraudulent claims.

Occasionally a disguise is used

Sherlock Holmes would use a disguise in a few of his adventures, and under the right circumstances, a private investigator may do the same. For example, in the area of process serving, a private investigator that has located the right person will need to deliver the summons directly to the person’s hand. If they refuse to answer the door, a private investigator may change into a deliveryman’s uniform. When the unsuspecting person answers their door, they are served the summons.

As you can tell, the real life private investigator is doing a job that is much different than that of a fictional detective such as Sherlock Holmes. However, our skills are highly developed, and we can find missing people, missing assets and can document people’s behavior legally without them being aware. Let us know what your problem is, and we can explain how our services can help you!

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.